Sunday, July 29, 2007

To Tata

We wanted to send you a message. I hope you are able to see this video. We love you and we miss you. The sound is a bit off, but hopefully as I get better at this they will line up.

Love, Kara, Lydia, and Andy
And of course Mommy and Daddy love you to.

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Share Photos - Free Video Hosting

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Weekend Together

Thursday night, my mom, dad, and brother -- Timothy showed up to help our church do some canvasing for VBS on Friday and Saturday. While JA, Dad, and Lydia went out to hang fliers, the rest of us decided to go for a walk to the pharmacy.

I'm one cool dude -- and very safe from the Sun's Rays.

We had a great time together (Lydia, Oma, Timothy)

And of course we had to play some games
(sorry for cutting off the heads -- I'm practicing with my new camara).

And JA munching on popcorn.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Day at the Fair

The last two weeks here in town have been busy preparing for the fair. Last week was the food and clothing judging. This week is the actual fair with the animals. I had the fun of preparing two booths for the fair.

The first booth is our church booth -- advertising VBS and our Children Bible Story Hour

The second booth is our MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group. Last month they asked me to do publicity for them, and this is my first project to publicize the organization. I really enjoyed the two meetings I attended last year, and I'm excited about this next year.

We took exactly $11 to the fair. Mostly because we saw that they were going to have homemade ice cream, and also for the farmer's market. Since the farmer's market was selling things I either had growing in my garden, or the same price as the supermarket we decided to let the kids have a bit of fun. So, for $10 we each got a cup of homemade ice cream (I had strawberry cheesecake -- yummy) and Kara and Lydia each got to ride two of the rides.
Above is Lydia riding on the barrel train. She loved this ride. In fact, she didn't want to get out.
Kara riding in the barrel train.
Lydia and Kara riding one of the two carnival rides at the fair. Lydia was begging the entire time we were there to go on this ride. I originally put both girls in separate cars (since they were the only ones on the ride). However, Kara panicked and ended up moving to sit behind her younger sister. Honestly, I don't think Kara would have been brave enough to go on this ride alone if she didn't see Lydia doing it.

To sum it up, although the fair is small, the kids had a great time. Gotta go, because tomorrow we get to go to the fair at 8:00 am for the swine judging (we wouldn't normally go to watch the pigs, but we know one of the teens showing).

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Opa Help ME!!!!!!!!!!!

Opa, I need your help. My mommy doesn't seem to understand some things. And, Daddy doesn't seem to be able to help. Can you please explain to Mommy that I am a BOY and Boy's don't like PINK! Now that I'm crawling I can finally get to the computer and type out my plea for help.

Problem #1 You see, since I started eating food, mommy started putting bibs on me. Now sometimes she puts a pink bib on me -- of course if someone else is at our house I get a blue one, but I still don't like the pink bibs.

Problem #2 Mommy just started feeding me a bottle. I don't mind so much the bottle, but can you please ask her to stop giving me the pink bottles. I would much rather have green or blue, or even orange. But not pink. (Daddy's not much better at this one -- he fed me a pink bottle this morning).

Problem #3 Opa, this is the one that prompted me to write this letter to you. As you can see in the pictures I can now drive a car -- A pink Cadillac. OK, I understand mommy's Mary Kay business is going nowhere fast, but I don't need to ride the pink car just to remind her.

I just thought since you were a boy like me, maybe you could explain a few things to mommy. I would really like your help.

Andy -- your favortitest grandson.

And look, this is even written on a pink page -- HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Music to a Mother's Ears

Kara loves music. She especially love the violin. However since we do not leave the violin out for her to play with, she will often go over to daddy's guitar and strum the strings. I love hearing her sing and attempt to play, and I hope to encourage her to follow music and learn to play.

However, Kara has done something that brings more excitement and anticipation to my heart then hearing her strum the guitar or finger the keys on the piano.

A little over three years ago, Jehovah entrusted JA and myself with raising and nurturing Kara. As we pray over her, teach her, discipline her, we long to hear her entrust her life and soul to our Master. In fact, the first verses we taught her (other than Children obey your parents) is I Corinthians 15:3-4 -- Christ died for our sins (she likes to add 'on the cross') according to the Scriptures and that He was buried and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.

She is now beginning to grasp an understanding of God, what Jesus did for us and why.
Yesterday while we were walking around JC Penny's enjoying their sidewalk sale, Kara was singing Jesus Died for Me.

This morning I was attempting to have my Bible reading and Kara brought a book she wanted me to read to her. After explaining to her that Mommy needed to spend time with God before I could do anything -- such as read Kara the book, clean the kitchen, or do the laundry -- I need to finish reading my Bible and praying. Kara began walking off saying "I need to spend time with God" She promptly began to fuss b/c she couldn't find her Bible. So I asked her if she wanted me to read part of my Bible to her. She eagerly agreed and I read Psalm 1 to her and tried to explain it the best I could. By this time Lydia had also come over and by now both girls were sitting on the ottoman in front of me. Then I told Kara it was time to pray so I asked her what she wanted to pray about. Without any prompting or even hinting at, Kara immediately said thank Jesus for dying on the cross for me. That in itself excited me. I followed her statement up with a question

"Why did Jesus die on the cross for you?"

"He died for sin"

"What is sin?"

"Being naughty"

"Does Kara sin?"


I chose to end the conversation there and we prayed. Kara began and said "Thank you for dying on the cross. Amen." Lydia then prayed -- very mumbled but I did understand the bowing of the head, the folding of the hands, and the emphatic AMEN. I prayed after them, and then had them read some books while I continued with my Bible reading.

I am just thrilled to see Kara in the beginning stages of knowing and eventually (we pray) accepting Christ as her Lord and Savior. Obviously because of her age we want to be careful that we do not push her to saying a prayer that she depends on. Yet, we know her heart is tender and open to believing God.

I would ask that you would pray for us as we continue to train and raise our three children to honor and glorify God. Pray that we would be patient , understanding, and willing to stop and listen to our children when they approach us with questions concerning what they hear and learn.

3 John 4 -- I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

2 John 1:4 -- I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fourth of July Fun

Here are some of our pictures from the Fourth of July. If you would like to see the rest of the pictures click here.

JA and Andy

Miss Independence and Miss Firecracker
My feeble attempt at hula hooping

Watching the fireworks (the kids were in the van)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A Perfect Marriage

I love coffee! I love Brownies! Last week while I was flipping through some old Taste of Home Magazines I discovered a recipe for Coffee 'n' Cream Brownies. Since we are having a reception Friday night at our church after the Proclaimers present their drama, I thought this would be a wonderful recipe to make. However, I wanted to do a trial run on them. So, yesterday I hit the kitchen to make these delicious sounding brownies.

Well, I began by making the brownies (from scratch). Somehow my magazine page flipped and I made the wrong brownie recipe (for Hazelnut Brownies) which was double the size of the recipe I intended to make. No problem. I discovered my mistake and decided to adjust the recipe using the brownie mix I just made up. This turned out to be the best mistake I had made in awhile. These brownies are definitely rich, so next time I make them for our family I will probably halve the recipe or find someone else to give the extra brownies to. This week, I just kept six of the brownies and we took the rest of the brownies to the Co-op b/c the men there have been working 60 - 80 hour weeks b/c of harvest so we thought they may enjoy a sweet pick me up.

Here is the recipe:
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour (I used bread flower b/c that's all I had other than wheat).
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture and mix well. Spread into a greased 13 in. x 9 in. x 2 in. baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

2 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar

For filling, combine cream and coffee granules in a small bowl; stir until coffee is dissolved. In a small mixing bowl, beat butter and confectioners' sugar. Add coffee mixture; beat until creamy. Spread over cooled brownies.

2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cups heavy whipping cream

In a small saucepan, combine chips and cream. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted and mixture is thickened. Cool slightly. Carefully spread over filling. Let stand for 30 minutes or until glaze is set. Cut into squares. Store in refrigerator.

I actually put it in the refrigerator overnight (this helped the brownies hold their shape when I cut them) before cutting it into squares. Then I used my pizza cutter so I could get a clean straight cut. To add to the attraction of the brownies on Friday I plan to place a coffee bean on top of each brownie.

Hope you try these delicious brownies.